You know that first day back from a long, relaxing holiday break?
That was yesterday for me. I got hit with that “oh, snap! here we go with all the things!!” feeling. ‘Tis the season! I actually love all the busy-ness of December, and I’m really excited for next month. There are sooo many good things on my calendar. But yeah…I’m definitely using that little productivity tip I shared yesterday to help me stay sane throughout it all.
Anyway, before we get into December I wanted to share a quick Thanksgiving recap, if you’d like to see.
Most years we head up to Dallas to visit my side of the family for Thanksgiving. This holiday has always been BIG in my family! We go all out. We run the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot and bake a dozen pies (really!) and make all of the standard Thanksgiving mains + sides. We watch the parade and do one or two 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles and play merry music in the background throughout it all. And we always watch a Christmas movie (usually Elf, but sometimes we mix it up!) on Friday night to kick off the start of the next season. It’s all so jolly and wonderful.
And I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I think this one might have been out best Thanksgiving ever. It wasn’t perfect (it never is!) but there was just so much joy and love and connection. I drove away from the holiday and on my way back to Austin I kept thinking, I am so, so blessed.
^ Lol to this. I sent a pic of our (packed!) car on the drive up I-35 from Austin to Dallas. My dad said he needed proof that we managed to fit in the two pies that I had made in Austin to bring with me, so I snapped this picture. Notice the extra streusel topping in a container on the right…added right before pie eating time on Thanksgiving!
We arrive in Dallas and the boys were ready to play with their grandparents!
And me and my siblings all took off to Lakewood Brewing Co for a little pre-Thanksgiving hangout. They served the flights in those little muffin tins.
Their most famous beer is the Temptress, a big and toasty stout. So they had about 10 different versions of it on tap – salted caramel Temptress, s’mores Temptress, peanut butter Temptress, and others. I tried about 6 of them!
Wednesday evening was a cozy, rainy night at home. We all prepped as much of Thursday’s meal as possible and played board games. Here’s Milo making a batch of snickerdoodle with my dad.
Milo was a master cinnamon/sugar cookie-roller. 😉
And lights out on Thanksgiving eve!
(Side note: do you know how long it takes to pack up a car of things for these two baby boys of mine? ALL THE TIME. It takes up all of the time. I started minimal in packing years ago, but as the trips keep accumulating I realize how much easier my life is when I remember certain things, like the baby monitor that took the photo above. So I pack more and. more stuff every time I travel, which makes my life easier on the trip but HOLY BAJEEZUS it takes forever to get everything loaded up!)
I had planned on doing the Turkey Trot in downtown Dallas (I was going to bring Dayton along and push him in the stroller for a 5K!) but…it was POURING in Dallas. Thunder and lightning and buckets of rain, so we decided to enjoy a cozy morning at home, instead. This pic is from about 6:45 am before the rest of the house was awake. Dayton and I enjoyed a bit of time to ourselves in the quiet living room before everyone else woke up/arrived at my parents house.
Milo was “putting me to sleep” and Nate snapped this picture. He’s really big into playing “nap time” and doing his whole bedtime routine, but I’m the one who has to go to bed. (Not complaining!) It’s funny how set he is on his little structured nap time: he reads me 3 books (always 3!), turns on the sound machine, tells me to crawl into bed and then he covers me with a blanket, and then sings You Are My Sunshine (and sometimes if I’m lucky he’ll sing ABC and Row Row Row You Boat.)
^Ooof, see! Rainy rainy all day on Thanksgiving! Milo still wanted to play outside..
Practicing his golf game.
This child was in and out all day long, dripping wet from the rain and then running to the couch to warm up under blankets.
^Nate and my grandfather in conversation. I really love being in my mom’s beautiful kitchen during the holidays. It’s always bustling with activity and noise and love and delicious smells.
My beautiful mom and younger sister. We have soooo many people in this family. It’s madness and it’s also wonderful.
^ Did you know salad spinners are great fun?! 😉 I signed up to make a fall salad, and Milo was right there to help with all of my salad spinning needs.
It was delicious! It had these rosemary-toasted pecans and roasted butternut squash and a tasty shallot vinaigrette.
The whole family! We didn’t do the standard “list 3 things you’re thankful for” this year, but instead said a few words of what we appreciated about the person sitting on our left. It was a really lovely dinner. Also, this is a very wonky photo, but it’s the best I got before I was ready to dig in!
My Dayton baby!! Even though he was born in August, I always think of him as my “Thanksgiving baby” because I got my positive pregnancy test the day after Thanksgiving. I remember drinking wine on Thanksgiving Day and having this very clear (and odd) intuitive knowing that I was pregnant…and sure enough, the next day I got that positive test. You can read the whole story here, if you want. And now two years later, here he is. Sitting on my lap and stealing my Thanksgiving rosemary dinner rolls.
Pie time! Pie is our thing. We always make too many pies (but not actually too many because we end up eating all of them!) and take a picture of all of them around the table. We’ve been doing this for about a decade now, I think.
^ My youngest sister made this peanut butter deliciousness.
Kylee always opts for a cheesecake instead of a pie, and this white chocolate raspberry cheesecake was divine.
A salted maple pie I decided to make at the last minute.
Ooh, we had two cheesecakes this year! The Oreo cheesecake was a winner.
My buttermilk pumpkin streusel pie (I put that extra streusel on top right before we ate it!). This was a new recipe I was trying from my Sister Pie cookbook, and it was ooook but not my favorite.
Nothing in the world as cute as a baby in jeans and a chunky sweater.
Dayton is so wonderful!
And his aunties sure do love him.
And I’ll end here, because I still have about 80 more pictures but I won’t bore you. My sisters + mama, who all mean the world to me. I love getting to celebrate the holidays with these humans. Every year that goes by, I love and appreciate my family on a deeper level.
PS: Thanksgiving 2021 when Dayton was just a tiny nugget!